LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) - Two rare snow leopard cubs have taken their first steps outside their den to bask in the sun and creep through the leaves in a southern English sanctuary.
The two as yet unnamed brothers are the first products of four years of attempts to breed the endangered animals at the Kent centre and keep up the genetic diversity of the captive population.
“These guys are two very different boys. One is very bold and one is quite a bit shyer,” said Briony Smith, head keeper at the Big Cat Sanctuary between the towns of Maidstone and Ashford.
“One of them focused much more around play and the other one around eating and sleeping, but both are hitting targets that we would want them to hit and progressing absolutely beautifully.”
Smith and other staff have been keeping a close watch on the cubs and their mother Laila on CCTV cameras since they were born on April 26. (Writing by Andrew Heavens; Editing by Catherine Evans)